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12-27-2015, 06:46 AM   #1
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Hello, new K-50 owner here

Hello,

I'm 24 and I just bought myself the Pentax K-50 with a 18-135mm lens. I've never used a DSLR before, I took some pictures with a small compact 18mpix (Coolpix I think), and my Android phone, but I have no further experience with photography.

When looking for a "good" camera to buy, I narrowed it down to the Pentax K50, the Canon 100D and the Nikon 5300D. Nikon being too expansive for me, I ruled that out. Then, there was an Amazon "flash sell" on the K50 with the 18-135 which allowed me to buy that kit for the price of the K50 raw body. So I gave up to the marketing pressure and ordered the Pentax And I regret nothing!

Right now, I've used the DSLR for 2 days and I took many photos (90% of which were total garbage), and I'm getting used to it little by little. I like the feeling of the K-50 in my hand. It's kind of a "natural" feel. I really like it so far.


So, how do I work so far?
- I use the eyepiece (visor?), well, the not-screen thingy.
- I take many full automatic pictures and try to enhance the look of them by going manual and trying to "tweak" the iso/f/exposure when taking a 2nd photography, to understand what does what.
- I mostly use Autofocus because atm I have not managed to have a perfectly clear (non-blur) picture of a living subject manually

So far, I've encountered two major issues :
- impossibility to go higher than 3200 ISO (6400 is just terrible, so much grain). Am I doing something wrong?
- I can't take clear pictures with somewhat long exposure (0.1', 0.4', 1') handheld. I'd like to know if it's my hands "shaking" too much, or maybe the initial "click" that makes the body slightly move in my hands, or if in general it's simply not possible to take good shots with long exposure and handheld.

I'd share with you pictures I've taken, but it portraits of my relatives and I don't feel confortable posting their pictures on the Internet, so here are some shots I know I can share:





My goals are to better understand my camera and be able to take pictures of exactly what I see (or what I don't see, I've always wanted to try pictures of stardust and milky way lightning). But right now, I'm still getting acointed with the Pentax K-50. I hope this forum will help me make progresses in this domain.

12-27-2015, 07:14 AM   #2
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You can also try the SCN modes as a learning tool. You are doing the right thing by experimenting.

As for the long shutter speeds those are too long for most anyone to get steady pictures from. The old rule of thumb was 1/focal length. So a 50mm needed 1/50 or faster but today's shake reduction makes it possible to go much slower 2-3 stops typically so 1/13 for example - but not quite as slow as you tried. Also any subject movement makes this moot.
12-27-2015, 07:22 AM   #3
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Hello UncleVanya, thanks for the rule, I'll try some shots to see what's the maximum speed I can get then

Is there somewhere I can post some of my questions regarding the DLSR and the software? For example, how to do a manual white balance (although I work with RAW so it's not a big deal for photos, but for video it'd be welcomed)?

I also read I could edit my posts (see, I posted twice the picture of the cap, on the first post), but I don't find anywhere the "edit" button. Do you have a hint for me?
12-27-2015, 07:49 AM   #4
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Hello and welcome to the forums. I have the K50 and yes going above ISO 3200 can yield unsatisfactory results. You need post processing software to clean the noise up. I also the 18-135 and it is an excellent lens. Try to avoid using the lens at its widest or maximum apeture, stop the lens down an f-stop or two for better IQ and more depth of field. For autofocus set the AF mode to either spot or selective. The default setting is not the best. When doing portraits on live view with the screen you can change the AF setting to Face Detect for better results.

You may want to try to take a look at this to give yourself a good start.
Pentax K-50 Review - Recommended Settings | PentaxForums.com Reviews

A good place to ask questions is here.
Pentax K-30 & K-50 - PentaxForums.com

And some K50 photos can be found here.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/151-pentax-k-30-k-50/261481-pentax-k-50-photos.html

12-27-2015, 09:05 AM   #5
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Hello Scorpio71GR, thanks for your message.

In your quick-guide, you say "default Auto 5 autofocus" but what's the difference between Auto 5 and Auto 11 ? I thought that Auto 11 used the whole 11 points of AF available, which should be better than 5, no?

PS: I found the white balance, I didn't understand I had to take a picture to use that picture as source for the white balance in video mode^^
12-27-2015, 09:16 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by vankasteelj Quote
Hello Scorpio71GR, thanks for your message.

In your quick-guide, you say "default Auto 5 autofocus" but what's the difference between Auto 5 and Auto 11 ? I thought that Auto 11 used the whole 11 points of AF available, which should be better than 5, no?

PS: I found the white balance, I didn't understand I had to take a picture to use that picture as source for the white balance in video mode^^
It depends if you want to have the whole scene in focus. Usually the camera will pick the closest focus point but not always. 5 points gives you more control and you can move them to where you want them if you are focusing on things off center. Sometimes with 11 points the camera can pick something you do not want in focus making your actual subject blurry.
12-27-2015, 09:32 AM   #7
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Welcome, lots of good advice already given, mine is... just to enjoy your photography, it's supposed to be fun too.
12-27-2015, 11:32 AM   #8
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Welcome to the forum!

12-27-2015, 01:13 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the messages,

I posted a new picture I took on the Astrophotography thread
12-27-2015, 03:17 PM   #10
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Welcome! I enjoy using my K-50, using different lenses, the one I use the most is the DA 18-55 kit lens. Than setup goes with me daily in my backpack. Small, light, and great for lunchtime photowalks.
12-28-2015, 09:54 PM   #11
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Some people say the crop factor should make the 1/focal length more of a 1/focal length * crop factor - so a 200mm lens would need 1/300 without any shake reduction and then with 3 stops 1/30 might work but it might be a bit too aggressive.The 50mm from earlier that I mentioned would need around 1/20th if that's true.

I recently shot a handheld low light picture of an ornament on my Christmas tree at 1/13s with a 35mm lens.
12-30-2015, 01:23 AM   #12
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Welcome to the forum and a Happy New Year!
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